Teatime Treasures – Review

Website: http://teatimetreasures.co.uk/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teatime-Treasures/163544560515125

So, it’s my Birthday next month and my parents had been looking for something to buy me. I just so happened to mention to my Mum that I had found a brand dress I liked and she said they would put some money towards it as a birthday present. The dress in question is by Atelier Pierrot who are by far my favourite lolita brand, their clothes always look amazing and so pretty, plus I love gothic (even though strangely I tend to wear other styles more). Anyway I found the dress on the Teatime Treasures website, I mentioned them in a previous post as they recently opened an online shop here stocking some brand items. My Mum urged me to buy it early just in case it should happen to sell otherwise. The dress is £165 though and so my parents had a few concerns over buying something so expensive (as did I). What if it didn’t fit me, how reliable is the site, how much is shipping, do they do refunds, where is the shop based, how do you pay, etc. I therefore contacted Teatime Treasures via their facebook page and asked all sorts of questions and even for some extra measurements. Nothing was too much trouble and I got prompt responses. Having answered all my questions I purchased the dress via their website. It was really easy to use and I paid via paypal so it was all straightforward. I selected next day special delivery which cost £8.99 but is the only option really as the dress is so expensive. They contacted me again via facebook to confirm the order had gone through fine, and posted the dress the following day. I was given the tracking info too.

 
The dress arrived inside a fairly small paper parcel, I had been warned to open it carefully as it was fairly tightly packed. To be honest I think considering the price of the items they should maybe look at better packaging options but having said that the dress arrived perfectly fine and wasn’t even that creased. (My hand is there to show the size of the packet for reference).

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Inside the paper packet the dress was folded up carefully inside an official Atelier Pierrot bag and there was a small floral patterned paper bag included which contained some sweets, a Teatime Treasures business card, an official Atelier Pierrot postcard and to my surprise a birthday card. I had mentioned the dress was to be a gift but I never expected them to include a card, I was really touched – it’s such a pretty card and was a really nice personal gesture.

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Look how pretty the dressy dress is!! The dress is one of their corset bustle dresses in blue and black.

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Unfortunately it’s not a happy ending to the story as the dress just wouldn’t fit me. I didn’t measure it to check it is actually the sizes stated on the website as they are the sizes stated by the brand so I would assume they are reasonably accurate. I think I’m just the wrong proportions for the style. So unfortunately I had to return it, at a cost of another £8.45 as obviously I had to send it back special delivery so I’ve lost £20 on postage costs – Royal Mail make me mad! Still it couldn’t be helped. I checked my measurements against those on the site, Teatime Treasures assisted in every way they could too it’s just one of those things that happens when buying online. £20 out of pocket is much better than having an £165 dress in the wardrobe that won’t fit me. I’m currently waiting for a refund, they haven’t processed that yet so I’m not sure how long that takes. Sad I only got to own it for a couple of days and that it didn’t fit, still for a very brief amount of time I did own something by my favourite brand.

I can’t fault their service at all, they were very warm and helpful, the whole purchase transaction itself was really smooth and the item was sent out straight away. Hopefully I will be able to make a more successful purchase from them in the near future.

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The Crypt of Curiosities – Review

I came across The Crypt of Curiosities due to some of my friends doing a share to win for their items on facebook. I decided to check out their page and look at the other jewellery as the share to win items looked really nice and soon wish I hadn’t as I want everything! The owner of the shop handcrafts stunning gothic statement jewellery featuring things like skulls, bats, claws as well as more subtle, elegant items like cameo necklaces, Victorian inspired pieces and pretty lace chokers – it’s all so awesome and pretty! You really need to go see.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCryptofCuriosities
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCryptOfCuriositie
Big Cartel Site: http://thecryptofcuriosities.bigcartel.com/
Anyway a day ago the owner added a special 20% discount code off items as a celebration of their birthday and I couldn’t resist any longer.
I treated myself to a lovely ‘Antique silver glass crystal bat necklace’ off their etsy site:

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https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/112849501/antique-silver-glass-crystal-bat?ref=shop_home_active_4

You get a colour choice of what crystal beads you would like but I couldn’t decide so went with black and silver as it would go with pretty much any outfit then. I placed the order and added the code, all went through really smoothly. The following day I got a notification email saying it had been shipped and today it arrived. It was sent recorded delivery which is always a good idea in a standard bubble envelope. Inside it was wrapped up well in bubble wrap and presented in a black and white striped paper bag with a business card on the front. They even included Halloween confetti which actually made me jump when it fell out the bag as it caught me off guard.

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The necklace is nicely finished off and made and all feels like decent quality. I can’t wait to wear it, I love bats! Isn’t he cute!

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The necklace costs £10 but due to the discount it was only £8 and then postage was £2.90 so I paid £10.90 in total. I usually buy cheap mass-produced jewellery and lots of plastic things so although its more than I would usually spend on a necklace it’s more unique and handcrafted to a high finish. It looks and feels much nicer than that stuff does too.
I placed my order on the 20th May, it was posted on the 21st and arrived today on the 22nd (though it does state on the site that items aren’t always posted the following day). Excellent service and wonderful item, couldn’t be happier and will definitely buy from them again. Their jewellery would look great worn with a whole variety of different fashion styles or just for everyday.

S-Con Talk Overview – Lolita Fashion

Hey Everyone, sorry for the delay in posting this. I said that I would do a rough overview of the talk I did at S-Con which mostly covered key points and basics so that anyone who missed the talk or who forgot certain things can find the information they need. My talk was about 30mins long so obviously I’m not going to include everything in here, just the important bits 🙂

What is Lolita Fashion?
Lolita is a type of street fashion that originated in Japan around the late 1980’s. Influences for the style originally came from the Victorian and Rococo period but nowadays it is heavily influenced by European fashion, fantasy and fairytales too. Lolita as a fashion is very feminine, elegant and cute. It is characterised by its historical influences, frills, lace and a full poofy skirt.

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Not Lolita:

Lolita fashion is not about being provocative, in fact it’s a very modest fashion. The word lolita here in the west has very negative connotations and I need to stress that it has nothing at all to do with that meaning or the book/movie of the same name. No-one is exactly sure where the name came from but I think when the fashion was developing in Japan it was probably a misinterpretation of what the word meant. It also is a FASHION and not a Cosplay, maid outfit, fancy dress or anything directly related to Anime and Manga. Just because an outfit is lacey and has a poofy skirt does not necessarily make it lolita.

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What makes an outfit lolita?

When researching the fashion you will encounter lots of rules and arguments about what is and isn’t lolita. This isn’t necessarily about elitism or even about putting limits on the style or person’s individuality or creative flair but more a case of being able to define it as a style. The general lolita silhouette is fitted in at the waist and has a full poofy skirt or dress which is knee length. Necklines are usually quite high and at least the top part of the arm is covered. There should also be some form of headwear (for example a headband, bow or fascinator) and the overall appearance will be neat and polished. It will look like a lot of care and effort has been put in to the overall look. Makeup generally is kept minimal looking as the aim is to look like you have fresh, young flawless skin – a bit like a porcelain doll. Co-ordination is a key part to lolita, balancing colours and accessories correctly is what makes a successful outfit. Lolita clothing is all about good quality fabric and lace, well constructed clothing and attention to detail.

Clothing Types:

There are 3 main clothing options within lolita, there’s a One Piece (usually referred to as an op) which is basically a dress that has some sort of sleeve. The sleeves can be either short or long or sometimes are a short sleeve with a detachable part so they can be worn as either long or short sleeves. The sleeve is the key characteristic of an op. The dress itself can come in all sorts of styles and cuts.

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A Jumper Skirt which is usually referred to as a JSK is a dress is that is worn with a blouse under it as it doesn’t have sleeves. Again they come in a range of styles and although most commonly they have two straps and fit more in the natural waist this doesn’t always apply. As you can see from these pictures the first has a much lower neckline and is designed to look more like a skirt and top. The second is more of a halter neck style and the third has broader straps.

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Your third option would be a skirt which would most commonly be worn with a blouse but can also be worn with a cutsew which is a bit like a fancy t-shirt. Like with dresses they come in a range of styles too. The most common is like the first two were you have a fitted waist band that would sit in your natural waist. You can also get some that have an elasticated waistband or part elasticated and then like the third some have a high waist band and starts more under the bust.

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Lolita Styles – Sweet Lolita:

Characterised by its cute prints, pale pastel colours and fancy accessories. Its very sugary sweet and a younger style. It often has a lot more frills, lace and bows than other styles. You can usually get the sweet prints in black too, its doesn’t have to be all pale colours, some people term this as ‘bitter sweet’ but its not a recognised term. Sweet lolita brands include: Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Emily Temple Cute.

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Classic Lolita:

Classic lolita is more of an elegant mature style. Its all about keeping things simple and is generally characterised by wearing darker and more natural colours, (red, brown, beige, cream, dusky pinks etc) not too much lace or bows, floral patterns. Hair and makeup is usually kept simple and minimal accessories are worn. Classic brands include: Innocent World, Victorian Maiden, Juliette et Justine, Mary Magdalene.

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Gothic Lolita:

As you would expect gothic lolita involves wearing a lot of black but also dark reds and blues are very popular. You can also wear shades of dark green and purple too. As a style it can be more mature and elegant or you can make it more cute. Gothic brands include: Alice and the Pirates, Atelier-Pierrot, Moi-même-Moitié.

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Lolita Fashion for the Boys.

Brolita:

Brolita is a western term (I don’t know if there is one in Japan) and basically means a male that wears lolita fashion. All the same fashion rules apply the only difference is that the wearer is male. There are not many Brolita’s around, I think this is partly because the super feminine style of the fashion is difficult to pull off but also getting clothing to fit correctly is hard. I feel the need to stress again here that lolita is all about fashion and not anything fetish, cosplay or fancy dress, unfortunately some so called Brolitas out there are not really a Brolita at all and they can ruin things for others by giving out the wrong impression and behaving inappropriately. Also to be honest if you have no interest in ladies fashion in general you will really struggle to pull this style off, if you want to pursue it then a lot of practise and studying makeup and style videos is a good idea. As is starting to build a wardrobe of simple things like tights, socks, accessories, handbags, shoes etc otherwise putting together more than one outfit will be a nightmare. The most famous male lolita is Mana who was originally a Visual Kei musician but also launched a Gothic Lolita fashion label.

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Lolita Fashion for the Boys and None Girly Girls : Boystyle

That covers the lolita side of the fashion so I’m now going to look at the male counterpart. If lolita fashion is too frilly for you or you are a guy who wants to attend an event with your lolita girlfriend but don’t know what you can wear then these styles are probably more your thing. These male fashions loosely come under the heading of boystyle. Now these styles aren’t lolita but they share similar aesthetics and influences and are basically the male equivalent of lolita fashion.  They are actually worn more often by girls but I would really like to see more guys take up the fashion as I think it looks lovely on them! (I will do a more indepth post on this subject, this is just basic stuff I used in my talk so it could appeal to everyone at the convention)

Ouji and Kodona

This is your younger cuter style. Ouji means prince in Japanese. I’m sure you are familiar with it as lots of Anime/Manga feature similar clothing style. The difference between these fashions and Cosplay would be that one you weren’t dressing/being a character and the second would be the quality. A few of the lolita Japanese brands like Baby the Stars Shine Bright/their sister brand Alice and the Pirates make clothing in this style too. Mini top hats, puffy shorts/short trousers and over the knee socks are common in this style. Usually paired with a fancy shirt and sometimes a waistcoat or nice jacket/coat.

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Aristocrat :

Aristocrat also known as gothic aristocrat is worn by males and females. Some lolitas choose to go to this style when they feel that knee length poofy skirts are no longer right for them. It’s a much more mature style but still incorporates the fine fancy details that is so important in lolita. It clearly also has historical fashion elements but given that fantasy modern twist that is also present in lolita.

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Where to start:

So, you’ve decided what fashion style you like and you want to start wearing it, where do you start.
Well firstly I would strongly suggest doing more research first. Finding websites that have more information about the fashion, look for reviews of clothing sites, tips on where to or not to buy. Try sourcing the magazine Gothic and Lolita bible but remember that really old versions of the lolita bibles wont represent the current style trends so look at brand images too on their websites. These will give you a better idea of how to co-ordinate an outfit and how the overall look should be. There are also various groups and pages on facebook that you can join to get more information and advice. Practice with hair, makeup and putting together outfits as that’s the best way to learn. In some groups you can post images of your outfit and ask for feedback or constructive criticism which will help you to improve. At the end of the day the fashion should be fun so wear what you enjoy and don’t let others get you down.

See my ‘Shopping – UK’ page for a list of places you can buy from here.
On my lolita fashion style introduction post I covered non-UK based places to buy from.

 

Bodyline Misc Accessories – Review

A while ago Bodyline had a massive sale on their accessories and also had free shipping on at the same time. I’ve already got a bunch of hair accessories and a lot of the other items in the sale didn’t appeal but I did place a very small order for a few accessories. The accessories I bought are all priced at 300 Yen which is about £1.75 each but as they had free shipping on the full total was only 1200 Yen. I bought 4 items which cost me £7.42 in total through paypal, their conversion always seems to be a bit higher than what google say’s, so that’s £1.86 per item. I checked out in Yen as the items are priced at £3 if you set the currency to £s which is quite a bit more.

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The items were posted in a shoe box that was lined with some bubble wrap to keep them safe.

 

First Item: Black Skeleton Necklace ACC1217

Stock Photo:

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My Photos:
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As you can see it looks exactly like the stock photos.
The first item is this silly moveable black skeleton necklace. It’s from the Sundries necklace & choker section. Laid out flat he is about 3.5” long from the top of his head to bottom of his foot and the chain is approx 13” long. The chain is nice and smooth and the skeleton is super jiggly as all his parts move about. It is not the best quality but is easily worth what I paid. I do worry that the black shiny stuff it is coated with may chip and flake off over time.

 

Second Item : Owl Necklace ACC944

Stock Photo:

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My Photos:

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Again it looks exactly like the stock photos.

The next item is also from the Sundries necklace & choker section. It’s a super cute owl necklace that’s a reddy-brown and gold colour. He has a flower pattern on his front and little gem stones. His tail moves slightly side to side. He’s not quite 2” long from the top of his head to bottom of his tail and the chain is about 14” long. The links on the chain are very small, I have no idea what the metal is but it’s a dark brass colour and feels smooth. I don’t know if it may discolour the skin, I have lots of other necklaces that use a similar chain but I always wear them over a high neck blouse so I don’t know. The owl is super cute, it has a stray green bead stuck in the back open work section, it doesn’t affect anything though. He has a bit of weight to him and although he is obviously not of top quality the finish is nice and he’s totally worth the price. I have bought much worse stuff off ebay and even market stalls, sometimes for a fair bit more.

 

Third Item: Skull & Spike Stud Hairband ACC1154

 

Stock Photo:
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My Photos:

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Looks like the stock photo.
The next item was in the Sundries headband section. It’s a simple black PVC type strip elastic headband with spike studs and skulls on. The front part is PVC and it has elastic at the back so it will fit a range of head sizes. Some of the screws stick out a bit on the inside, could do with being a bit flusher but you don’t really feel them when you wear it. It all seems secure enough, I don’t think any will fall off. Can’t say much else about it really.

 

Fourth Item: Blue Japanese Cat Purse ACC1044

 

Stock Photo:

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My Photos:

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The last item is from the lolita bag section and is a super cute Japanese print cat purse. It’s made from fabric and fastens with a metal snap clasp. There’s a small jingly bell on a bit of cotton, the cotton is just tied at the end so this could easily come off. Also as the cat is 3D and the parts are sewn on the front I would worry about it catching on items in your bag and getting bent/coming loose. Also I think most of it may be glued rather than sewn and I can see a couple of small stitches attaching it to the cats face but one has already come undone so I may need to re-stitch it. Its probably best as a decorative item/gift than for actual use as a purse. Though I guess it may work for occasional use. There was a piece of sponge inside to help it keep its shape though it looks like the back may have gotten a bit squashed anyway. Overall though it’s really cute and nicely made, I just don’t know if it would stand up to regular use.

Sum Up: I think given that each item didn’t even cost a full £2 they are excellent value for money. Especially given that I didn’t even have to pay postage for them. If the same items were sold in shops over here they would easily be priced at more. Also I think its great they were sent in a shoe box to protect them.